JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: January 17th – 23rd, 2015

NEW YORK BUSINESSMAN DONATES TO HIGH SCHOOL IN ST. MARY—01/17/15
Islington High School in St. Mary, Jamaica, is set to receive tens of thousands of U.S. dollars for the upgrade of its computer and sports equipment thanks to pledged donations from a businessman in New York and his two friends. Roy Reid, the founder of the Portmore Cricket League, Charles Simpson, and Lester Crooks, vice-president of the cricket league, are donating US$5,000 in cricket equipment to the high school, and they have announced their plans to modernize the computer lab as well. Reid, who was born in Jamaica but left in the 1960s established the Corporate Couriers delivery service in New York.

HEART SCREENINGS TO BE GIVEN TO STUDENT ATHLETES—01/18/15
The One Love, One Heart program is designed to provide heart screenings to student athletes in four schools in Jamaica. The program is sponsored by Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAH JAH). The organization is concerned about the rise in sudden heart-related deaths among high school students in Jamaica.

PASTOR WANTS TO BE PROUD OF JAMAICA—01/19/15
Reverend Everton Jackson, the pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Kingston, is advocating a communal approach to rebuilding Jamaica. He has urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora as well as those living on the home island to take part in the development of Jamaica in the areas of the economy, morality, social conditions, and spirituality so that no one will be “ashamed of our nation.”

JAMAICAN SELECTED TO LEAD U.S. DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY—01/20/15
Major General Vincent R. Stewart of the United States Marine Corps has been named as the 20th directory of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as well as the commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Stewarts is a Jamaica who received education at Kingston College and who joined the Marines in 1981. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate following the retirement of his predecessor.

RESEARCHERS TO STUDY ROLE OF DIASPORA—01/21/15
The Mona School of Business and Management will research the role of the Diaspora in Jamaica’s growth and development. Dr. Indianna Minto-Coy, lecturer at the school, said the role of Jamaica’s Diaspora and its impact on development are key to success and need to be better defined. According to the World Bank, the Jamaican Diaspora has over US$5 billion in savings, and the Jamaican government is interested in learning how to tap these resources for the benefit of the home country.

HANNA TELLS UN MEETING IN GENEVA THAT JAMAICA IS MAKING PROGRESS—01/22/15
Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna told the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that Jamaica is making serious progress in ensuring the rights of children on the island. Hanna stated that the Jamaican government is advancing the rights of children in regard to protection from violence, educational opportunities, and equal rights and justice under the law. She made her remarks at a UN summit held in Geneva, Switzerland.

EX-PREMIER OF ONTARIO WELCOMES POT LEGALIZATION IN JAMAICA—01/23/15
Ernie Eves, a former premier of Ontario, Canada, strongly supports the Jamaican government’s move toward legalizing marijuana in that country. His support stems from the fact that Eves is the chairman of Timeless Herbal Care, a Jamaican medical marijuana firm that has strong connections with Canada. He believes that Jamaica is well positioned to become the “medical marijuana hub” of the world.

NO NEW TRIAL FOR BUJU BANTON—01/23/15
Buju Banton (Mark Myrie) has been denied a new trial stemming from drug-related charges and an arrest in South Florida in December 2009. The United States Court of Appeal has dismissed his request. He had received approval for his attorneys to present oral arguments to the court in an attempt to obtain a new trial in August of 2014.